At the CES 2022 in Las Vegas, Udelv, a Silicon Valley venture-backed company, unveiled the Transporter, the first cab-less autonomous electric transport vehicle for multi-stop delivery, driven by Mobileye, an Intel company.
The cab-less Transporter is built for business delivery fleets and is expected to aid in the resolution of two of the most critical issues confronting commercial fleets: the present driver shortage and fleet electrification.
The Mobileye Drive self-driving system is powered by a robust set of cameras, LiDARs, and radars, as well as the Mobileye EyeQ 5 system-on-chip for automotive applications. Udelv has also integrated Mobileye’s Road Experience Management, a crowdsourced, continuously updated map of the world that processes the data that autonomous vehicles need to navigate, in order to quickly deploy the Transporter at scale.
The uPod, a proprietary, self-contained, hot-swappable modular cargo pod, is featured on the multi-stop electric delivery vehicle. It can transport up to 2,000 pounds of stuff, make up to 80 stops per cycle at highway speeds, cover distances ranging from 160 to 300 miles per run depending on the power pack option, and be controlled by Udelv’s mobile apps to schedule, distribute, track, and recover parcels.
“This is a historic day for the transportation and logistics industries,” said Daniel Laury, Udelv CEO and co-founder. “The Transporter is transformative for two of the world’s largest industries: automotive and logistics. It was created to solve two great challenges of commercial fleets: the shortage of drivers and the electrification of fleets.”
Years of experimentation, client testing, and hardcore mechanical, electrical, and software engineering went into Udelv’s third vehicle. Udelv made its public road debut in California in 2018, with the first-ever autonomous delivery.
Udelv has made over 20,000 deliveries for various businesses in California, Arizona, and Texas since then. By 2028, Udelv hopes to have 50,000 Transporters, operated by Mobileye, on public highways, with the first Transporters hitting the market in 2023.
Laury highlighted the Transporter’s main characteristics:
- The Transporter features a patented secure, automated, hot-swappable, and modular cargo space specifically designed for autonomous delivery, the uPod, with adaptive shelving and an IRIS aperture mechanism.
- The uPod can carry up to 2,000 lbs. of cargo and make up to 80 stops per run.
- The uPod is connected to proprietary cloud-based software with intelligent loading and unloading, as well as a function to return items.
- It can deliver nearly anything from convenience goods, e-commerce packages, and groceries to auto parts, electronics, and medical supplies for B2B and B2C applications.
- The Transporter is driven by the Mobileye Drive self-driving system with a robust suite of cameras, LiDARs, radars, and the fifth generation of EyeQ, Mobileye’s System-on-Chip for automotive applications. To rapidly deploy at scale, the Transporter will integrate Mobileye’s AV maps based on Road Experience Management (REM), a crowdsourced, continuously updated map of the world that digitizes what autonomous vehicles need to navigate.
- The vehicle features Udelv’s 24/7 proprietary ultra-low latency camera-based teleoperation system for remote maneuvers and assistance and Udelv’s proprietary uECU (Electronic Control Unit) acting as the vehicle’s central computing unit to integrate and optimize all functions.
- Battery capacity is between 90 and 160 kWh with a 160-300 mile range.
- DC fast charging will take 45 minutes to add up to 220 miles of range.
- The top speed is 70 mph.
- The fleet of Transporters is operated by a proprietary Fleet Intelligence and Management System for route optimization and fleet planning algorithms.
- The Transporter is designed to maximize delivery efficiency and customer satisfaction while minimizing the total cost of operation.
The company has already received over 1,000 reservations, notably from Donlen in the United States and Planzer and Ziegler Group in Europe. The US Air Force has given the business a coveted contract for a pilot program at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
“The Transporters will dramatically improve the efficiency and safety of last- and middle-mile delivery services and make deliveries affordable for everyone and everything from electronics and auto parts to groceries and medical supplies,” added Laury.